Between his daily press briefings and his tweets in bursts, Donald Trump continues to saturate the media space. Omnipresent in the spotlight, the American president manages the crisis as in The Apprentice, the NBC reality show that made him famous. With improvised, and often contradictory, remarks that constantly put him at the center of media attention.
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The White House schedules its daily press conference in the early evening – a timing that ensures a prime time audience. In the past two weeks, daily presidential soliloquies have lasted an average of almost 75 minutes each.
As an immediate consequence of this predominance in the media, the American management of the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly confronts the federal state, embodied by Donald Trump, and the federated states represented by their governors. Always looking for the scapegoat, the president regularly attacks the democratic governors, summoned to show himself “ grateful “If they want federal government support.
No quarantine for New York State
Last episode to date, Donald Trump gave up, Saturday March 28, to place in quarantine the States of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, a few hours after having evoked this possibility, to the chagrin of the governors of these states. ” It would be a declaration of war against the states which would sow chaos Lambasted Andrew Cuomo. For several days, the governor of New York State, epicenter of the pandemic with more than 50,000 people tested positive, has been asking for enough respirators to cope with the expected peak in the coming weeks.
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“When you lack clarity, it can cause confusion, which can lead to panic”, affirmed, for its part, the governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont. “And if you care as much as the president about seeing the economy rebound, you have to be very careful about what you say and what you don’t say “.
“The Michigan woman”
Another favorite target of Donald Trump, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, fifth most affected state. The one the president calls ” Michigan woman “Criticized the insufficient supply by the federal government of masks and other protective equipment, taken from the federal stock of emergency medical equipment, distributed throughout the American territory.
Lack of transparency in the allocation of federal aid
States face a system undermined by years of underfunding, incessant changes in the chain of command and a lack of transparency in the award criteria. Donald Trump and his vice president Michael Pence say they are doing what is necessary to provide states with what they need, while urging them to buy the equipment themselves. ” It is not up to the market to determine the availability and prices of the equipment needed to deal with this crisis, replies Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. We need a nationally led and coordinated response “
After New York State, New Jersey, California, Washington State, Michigan and Illinois are the most affected states, with concentrations in major cities. “There are 50 states with different responses from local governors and public health departments”, said Thomas Tsai, professor of public health at Harvard. “ We are witnessing the emergence of an anarchy fragmented into fifty states, due to the complete lack of federal leadership Added Jeremy Konyndiyk, former director at USAid, the federal agency for international aid.
Social distancing measures, the only point of consensus
Earlier this week, the National Health Authority’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) is expected to issue new recommendations on containment measures, as well as travel and gathering restrictions. The only point of consensus to date between the federal state, the states and the cities: social distancing measures are necessary in order to continue “Flatten the curve”which is to slow down the number and speed at which new people are infected, so that hospitals are as little overwhelmed as possible.
Two months after the detection of the first patient, in late January, on American soil, the peak of the epidemic has not yet been reached. Until then, more than 60% of the American population is called upon to remain strictly confined – which means that approximately 30% of the approximately 330 million inhabitants of the country are not or not yet.
A higher approval rate
Despite criticism of his erratic management, Donald Trump’s approval rating has risen to 49%, the highest rating of his presidency according to the Gallup Institute, compared to 44% earlier this month. 60% of those surveyed approve of the way it manages the pandemic. Even more striking, according to a CBS / YouGov poll, 90% of Republicans trust the president’s information on the coronavirus, almost on a par with health professionals. ” Even when their own lives are literally at stake, a large part of the American population no longer believes in anything but the President »Comments Susan Glasser in the New Yorker.